The Project Gutenberg eBook of Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, fifth series, no. 120, vol. III, April 17, 1886

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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, fifth series, no. 120, vol. III, April 17, 1886

Author: Various

Release date: March 13, 2023 [eBook #70278]

Language: English

Original publication: United Kingdom: William and Robert Chambers, 1853

Credits: Susan Skinner, Eric Hutton and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)






No. 120.—Vol. III.




One of the great troubles of the commercial and financial world is the growing scarcity and dearness of gold, concurrently with a growing abundance and cheapness of silver. That gold is not merely a form of money, but is also a valuable and useful commodity in itself, goes without saying. What is true of gold is true also of silver. These two metals are called ‘precious’ because, of all other metals, the desire to possess them in a crude form is universal. Let us put it in another way. All nations do not desire to possess pig-iron, or ingot copper, or block-tin, because all nations cannot utilise these metals in such form, however ready they may be to purchase articles made from them. But all nations above the lowest rank of savagery do desire to possess gold and silver in the state of bullion, because they can all utilise these metals in some mode of ornament or in purposes of exchange. But for obvious reasons the desire for silver is not so large and so general as the desire for gold.

From an early period in the history of civilisation, gold and silver have been used as money, and the reason they are valuable as money is because they have a high intrinsic value. Now, value is a quality which has been variously defined, but which for our purposes can best be explained as of two kinds. That is to say, there is exchange value and intrinsic value. It is a common thing to say that an article is worth just what it will bring, or sell for. In a certain sense, this is true; but the ‘worth,’ or value, in such cases is market or exchange value only. Take, for instance, the value in the book market of some scarce book or pamphlet for which an extravagant price will be paid by a bibliomaniac, wholly regardless of its literary merits. Books which are intellectually worthless will often attain a very high ‘market value.’ Per contra, a copy of the Bible may be obtained for sixpence.

In speaking of value, therefore, one must always understand whether market value or intrinsic worth be meant. The two do not always coincide. A thing is very often intrinsically worth a great deal more than it will sell for; and, on the other hand, a thing will often sell for a great deal more than it is intrinsically worth. No better examples of the latter can be mentioned than the extravagant prices which are sometimes paid for pieces of old china, or the extraordinary sums which were given for bulbs in the days of the Dutch tulip mania.

Now, the peculiar virtue of gold is that it combines the highest exchange value with the highest intrinsic value. It possesses qualities which no other substance has; some of these qualities adapt it for use as money, while it possesses at the same time a value independent of its worth as money—namely, its intrinsic value. That is to say, a sovereign is valuable not merely because it will exchange for twenty shillings, or purchase a pound’s worth of goods, but also because it can itself, by re-melting it or otherwise, be made an article of use. The same is true only in a modified degree of silver money. A shilling can be utilised in the same way as bullion-silver can; but a shilling does not contain a shilling’s-worth of the metal. This is why silver coins in this country are called only ‘token-money.’ Their intrinsic value is not equal to their ‘face’ or exchange value, and therefore you cannot at law compel a man to receive payment of a debt from you in silver if the amount be greater than forty shillings sterling. Silver beyond forty shillings is not what is termed a ‘legal tender.’ A creditor may take silver from you if he likes, just as he may take a cheque from you if you have a banking account; but you can no more compel him to receive payment in silver over forty shillings than you can compel him to take your cheque.[1]

This has been the law of England since 1816; and it is this law which makes England what{242} is called a mono-metallic country—that is, possessing one sole standard of value. That standard, as we know, is gold. But India is also a mono-metallic country, and silver is there the sole standard, gold not being now minted at all, although gold coins, such as mohurs, circulate to some extent, and are hoarded as ‘treasure.’ Indeed, in all the Asiatic countries it may be said that silver is the circulating medium of exchange—that is to say, the actual form of money. Yet, in all Asiatic countries, gold is more highly prized than silver, and is more readily taken in payment of a debt, even if of Western coinage; and this fact is another illustration of the high intrinsic value of gold in all parts of the world. Strictly speaking, gold is not ‘money’ in Asia, but it is held more precious than official money.

Now, there are certain persons who contend that it is a great mistake on the part of any nation to have a standard of value confined to a single metal, be it gold or silver, and who further contend that the existing universal depression of trade is principally due to England and one or two other countries rejecting silver for purposes of legal money. These persons are what it is usual to call Bi-metallists, and they desire to see adopted a universal dual, or, more correctly, alternative standard.

The theory of bi-metallism is one of French origin. In 1865, certain European states formally adopted it. These states were France, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland; and their combination is known as the ‘Latin Union.’ The agreement they made among themselves was that each of them should coin both gold and silver in unrestricted quantities and of defined fineness, and that both gold and silver money should be ‘legal tender’ in each state for all debts. That is to say, in the Latin Union a man may pay a debt of a thousand pounds, or any amount, in silver—if he likes—instead of being confined to forty shillings-worth of silver, as with us. In practice, he does not do so, because it is inconvenient to carry and to count large sums in silver coins. The purpose of that agreement was to increase the amount of coined currency without causing an addition to the market value of one metal by concentrating the demands of mints upon one alone. It necessitated fixing a ratio of value between the two metals, and the ratio was taken by the Latin Union to be fifteen and a half parts of silver to one of gold. That is to say, one ounce of gold was declared by law to be ‘worth’ fifteen and a half ounces of silver, and vice versâ.

It would take too long and too much technicality to follow the operations of the Latin Union; but it is necessary to explain that one branch of the agreement had to be departed from after the close of the Franco-German war. The Germans demanded payment of the whole of the two hundred millions of the war indemnity in gold, and they then adopted for themselves a gold standard. This is what is meant by saying that Germany demonetised silver; she became mono-metallic, like England. The effect of this action on the part of Germany was to cause an extra demand for gold for mint purposes, and at the same time to throw upon the markets of the world a vast quantity of silver which was no longer wanted for coinage. Consequently, the price of silver measured in gold fell so considerably that the Latin Union could no longer maintain the ratio of fifteen-and-a-half to one, which they had established. They therefore agreed among themselves not to coin any more silver—or to coin only such small quantities as were needed for the convenience of the people—while, however, they retained the principle of silver money being ‘legal tender’ as well as gold.

Some years later, the United States government resumed specie payments—that is to say, they called in the ‘greenbacks,’ or notes for small amounts which were issued during the war, when coin was scarce, and began to pay all their debts in gold. In order to do this, they had to purchase and mint a large quantity of that metal. Between 1873 and 1883, it is estimated that no less than two hundred millions sterling worth of gold were taken up for coinage over and above the normal consumption in that way. Thus, the United States required one hundred millions; Germany, eighty-four millions; and Italy, sixteen millions. This meant an average extra demand on the ten years of twenty millions annually.

We must bear these figures in mind in endeavouring to see how gold has become scarce, and, as it is termed, ‘appreciated in value.’ Besides the coinage for these and the other states which have to put a certain quantity of gold through the mints every year in order to keep up their normal currency, there is the large demand for the metal for employment in the arts and manufactures. M. de Levaleye estimated a few years ago that the amount of gold thus used is about ten millions sterling annually; but in a former article we took fifteen millions sterling as the figure. The latter we believe to be nearer the mark, and it is the fact that the use of gold for purposes other than coinage is annually increasing.

A thing may increase in market value—which, as we have said, is different from intrinsic value—in two ways—namely, by reason of enlarged demand, or by reason of diminished supply. Both forces have operated in the case of gold; for, while the demand has increased in the manner just shown, the supply has been steadily falling off. In 1852, after the discoveries in California and Australia, the production of gold was to the value of thirty-six and a half millions sterling; but now, it is only about half that amount. The decrease in yield is shown in a very interesting manner by comparing successive periods of five years. Thus:

Period. Total Production. Annual Average.
1852-56 £150,000,000 £30,000,000
1857-61 123,200,000 24,600,000
1862-66 114,000,000 22,750,000
1867-71 109,000,000 21,753,000
1871-75 77,000,000 19,200,000

Between 1875 and 1882 the average remained a little over nineteen millions annually; but in 1883 the production was only about eighteen and a quarter millions; and in 1884 it was rather under eighteen millions sterling. At the close of last year, Mr Samuel Smith, M.P.—a leading bi-metallist—said that the present production could not be estimated at much over sixteen millions annually. If our estimate is{243} correct, that fifteen millions annually are used in the arts and manufactures, it will be seen what a narrow margin is now left for coinage.

This is bad enough from a bi-metallist point of view; but worse remains. Silver has been all the time increasing in amount of production. We have not the figures for precisely the same periods as for gold, but the following will suffice to show the growth in the yield of silver:

Period. Total Production. Annual Average.
1852-62 £90,760,000 £9,076,000
1863-73 124,530,000 12,453,000
1874-80 110,400,000 15,771,428
1881 ... 18,800,000
1882 ... 20,500,000
1883 ... 21,400,000
1884 ... 21,400,000

The broad inference from these figures is that the production of silver has about doubled within the last twenty years. The increase is mainly, if not entirely, from the development of the mines in the western States of America; and an American authority estimates that the production will probably double itself again within the next twenty years.

Now, the curious fact is, that while the world at once and greedily absorbs the annual production of gold, it is in present circumstances unable to utilise all the silver. This metal is actually decreasing in employment in the arts; and indeed, it is within the observation of every one that silver-plate is no longer the highly coveted possession which it once was in middle-class families. One meets now with ‘solid-silver’ appliances comparatively seldom in general use, electro-plate having taken their place. Its disuse as money has been already mentioned.

The result is remarkable. In 1848, the metallic money, current or hoarded in the world, was estimated at one thousand millions sterling, of which four hundred millions were gold, and six hundred millions were silver. In 1870, the metallic money was estimated at fourteen hundred millions, of which seven hundred and fifty millions were gold, and six hundred and fifty millions were silver. At present, the metallic money of the world is estimated at about fifteen hundred and seventy millions sterling, of which about eight hundred millions are gold, and seven hundred and twenty millions are silver. It is to be remembered also that a very small proportion of the gold which is withdrawn for manufactures and ornaments ever finds its way back into the circulating arena, because the labour expended on the finished ornament gives it a higher value than can be obtained out of the melting-pot. In this connection another interesting point may be noticed, which is, that it has been ascertained that out of every three thousand sovereigns coined, one sovereign represents the annual loss by friction; and in half-sovereigns the annual loss in the same way is one in eighteen hundred. It may not be generally known that our gold coins circulate very much in some parts of the East and in South America, and are only returned to this country when they have lost in weight by friction. This loss reduces the intrinsic value; but when sent to London, they are exchangeable at face value, if not excessively abraded.

The effect of this change in the actual production and employment of gold and silver is to materially alter their relative values. The value of silver measured in gold has fallen so enormously, that instead of the ratio being, as was fixed by the Latin Union, fifteen and a half parts of silver to one of gold, the actual ratio in the markets of the world is now only about twenty parts of silver to one of gold. It is estimated that a sovereign will now purchase as much as thirty shillings would do fifteen years ago; and this is what is meant by saying that the appreciation of gold is the cause of the depreciation of prices of commodities. But all this time silver has remained the legal standard of value of India, and a rupee is still worth two shillings in that country. That is to say, a rupee has still the purchasable power of two shillings in India; but in England it is worth only about one shilling and sevenpence. Therefore, upon every pound which the Indian remits to this country he must lose twenty per cent., or about four shillings, for exchange. This is a very serious loss not only on merchants—many of whom, however, can to some extent counteract it by sending home goods instead of money, goods which they buy for silver in Calcutta and sell for gold in London—but also on the government, which has to send home something like fifteen millions sterling, gold value, every year, to meet the interest on the public debts, and the like.

The position, then, is this—that the supply of gold-money is now too small for the world’s needs, and that all commerce and international intercourse is being hampered by the restriction of the medium of exchange. At present, the sole practical medium is gold; and gold-money, as Mr Goschen has remarked, has three functions to perform: it has to supply the pocket and till-money of the people; it has to remain in the vaults of bankers as security for the notes issued against it; and it has to serve in settling the balances between nations. The larger the amount of trade which is being done, the larger must these balances necessarily be—although not in direct proportion—and the more gold must be required to adjust them. By analogy of reasoning, the less gold there is in the form of circulating money, the more must the trade be restricted. If the restriction does not operate on volume, it must operate on prices, and this in effect is what has happened.

The subject of concern, then, in the circles of finance throughout the world is how to rehabilitate silver, as it is termed—that is, how to replace it in the position which it is claimed the metal should occupy as money. If the supply of gold is too small for the world, then the only alternative is to utilise silver more largely, and to give it an official value in relation to gold. That value cannot now be placed in the ratio of fifteen-and-a-half to one; but it is thought that common agreement among the nations might enable the ratio to be fixed at something like seventeen to one.

The object of the bi-metallists is to bring about an arrangement between all the nations of Europe and the United States of the same principle and effect as that adopted by the Latin Union, which we have described. That is to say, they seek to have the free concurrent{244} coinage of both gold and silver in a fixed ratio of value, and to have both metals everywhere decreed unlimited legal tender. The effect of this would be, they claim, to provide a supply of metallic coinage amply sufficient for the world’s present and increasing requirements, while it would prevent those violent fluctuations in exchange which do so much to disturb our trade with the silver-using countries of the East and of South America (where the Mexican silver dollar is the standard). Unless this be done, they assert, gold will become the sole currency of the world, and will have to perform the work of two metals. The effects of the consequent depreciation of silver upon India will be ruinous, and the effects of the consequent appreciation of gold will be to reduce the value of property in all commodities in this country still further. The final result, say some, must be panic and revolution.

The arguments pro and con. involve technicalities not quite suitable for our pages. It may be mentioned, however, that those opposed to bi-metallism say that there is no reason to conclude that the supply of gold has permanently fallen off; that fresh discoveries may be made any day; that the effects of the fluctuations of exchange on trade are exaggerated, and do not, in practice, prevent free commercial intercourse between countries of quite different currencies; and that the diminishing use of silver in the arts is an argument against its use as money. If silver becomes comparatively valueless as a commodity, how, it is asked, can the ratio of value as money between it and gold be maintained? The metal would be placed in the anomalous position of having two values—one at the mints, and another in the markets—and the consequence would be that the market value would rule, and people would refuse to take the silver money. This is the case at present in the United States, where the government is compelled by law to buy for coinage some five hundred thousand pounds-worth of silver every month, which silver money lies dead in the treasury because the people don’t want it.

On the other hand, it may be contended that the very fact of silver being legalised by all the great nations of the world would impart to it a value which might re-create a demand for it for other employment. It may be possible, too, to arrange not a permanent but an adjustable ratio, to be altered from time to time by joint agreement among the nations, according as the relative values of the metals are affected by supply and demand.

Be this as it may, it would seem that all the nations concerned, including even Germany, who acknowledges having made a mistake in demonetising silver, are more or less in favour of bi-metallism, and that all wait for the concurrence of England. In the United States, the present efforts of the government are directed towards repealing the law which compels them to coin a certain amount of silver—not that they do not want a dual currency, but simply because they cannot work it as long as England persists in adhering to the gold standard. Thus it would appear that in the great silver question England is, rightly or wrongly, not as yet prepared to come to a decision. In England, moreover, counsels are very much divided among experts, while the general public gives almost no attention to the question whatever. It is in the hope of stimulating the interest of our readers in a great, almost a vital matter, that we place this article before them.



There was great excitement in the District Court at Westmoreland one sunny morning, a few days later, for the new judge was to sit and hear an appeal, West Indian fashion, from a magistrate’s decision in the case of Delgado versus Dupuy. The little courthouse in the low parochial buildings of Westmoreland was crowded with an eager throng of excited negroes. Much buzzing and humming of voices filled the room, for it was noised abroad among the blacks that Mistah Hawtorn, being a brown man born, was likely to curry favour with the buckras—as brown men will—by giving unjust decisions in their favour against the black men; and this was a very important case for the agricultural negroes, as it affected a question of paying wages for work performed in the Pimento Valley cane-pieces.

Rosina Fleming was there among the crowd; and as Louis Delgado, the appellant in the case, came into court, he paused for a moment to whisper hurriedly a few words to her. ‘De med’cine hab effeck like I tell you, Missy Rosina?’ he asked in an undertone.

Rosina laughed and showed her white teeth. ‘Yes, Mistah Delgado, him hab effeck, sah, same like you tell me. Isaac Pourtalès, him lub me well for true, nowadays.’

‘Him gwine to marry you, missy?’

Rosina shook her head. ‘No; him can’t done dat,’ she answered carelessly, as though it were the most natural thing in the world. ‘Him got anudder wife already.’

‘Ha! Him got wife ober in Barbadoes?’ Delgado muttered. ‘Him doan’t nebber tell me dat.—Well, Missy Rosy, I want you bring Isaac Pourtalès to me hut dis one day. I want Isaac to help me. De cup ob de Dupuys is full dis day; an’ if de new judge gib decision wrongfully agin me, de Lard will arise soon in all him glory, like him tell de prophets, an’ make de victory for him own people.’

‘But not hurt de missy?’ Rosina inquired anxiously.

‘Yah, yah! You is too chupid, Miss Rosy, I tellin’ you. You tink de Lard gwine to turn aside in de day ob vengeance for your missy? De Dupuys is de Lard’s enemy, le-ady, an’ he will destroy dem utterly, men and women.’

Before Rosina could find time to reply, there was a sudden stir in the body of the court, and Edward Hawthorn, entering from the private door behind, took his seat upon the judge’s bench in hushed silence.

‘Delgado versus Dupuy, an appeal from a magistrate’s order, referred to this court as being under twenty shillings in value.—Who heard the case in the first instance?’ Edward inquired.

‘Mr Dupuy of Orange Grove and Mr Henley,’ Tom Dupuy, the defendant, answered quietly.


Edward’s forehead puckered up a little. ‘You are the defendant, I believe, Mr Thomas Dupuy?’ he said to the young planter with a curious look.

Tom Dupuy nodded acquiescence.

‘And the case was heard in the first instance by Mr Theodore Dupuy of Orange Grove, who, if I am rightly informed, happens to be your own uncle?’

‘Rightly informed!’ Tom Dupuy sneered half angrily—‘rightly informed, indeed! Why, you know he is, of course, as well as I do. Didn’t we both call upon you together the other day? I should say, considering what sort of interview we had, you can’t already have quite forgotten it!’

Edward winced a little, but answered nothing. He merely allowed the plaintiff to be put in the box, and proceeded to listen carefully to his rambling evidence. It wasn’t very easy, even for the sharp, half-Jewish brown barrister who was counsel for the plaintiff, to get anything very clear or definite out of Louis Delgado with his vague rhetoric. Still, by dint of patient listening, Edward Hawthorn was enabled at last to make out the pith and kernel of the old African’s excited story. He worked, it seemed, at times on Orange Grove estate, and at times, alternately, at Pimento Valley. The wages on both estates, as frequently happens in such cases, were habitually far in arrears; and Delgado claimed for many days, on which, he asserted, he had been working at Tom Dupuy’s cane-pieces; while Tom Dupuy had entered a plea of never indebted on the ground that no entry appeared in his own book-keeper’s account for those dates of Delgado’s presence. Mr Theodore Dupuy had heard the case, and he and a brother-magistrate had at once decided it against Delgado. ‘But, I know, sah,’ Delgado said vehemently, looking up to the new judge with a certain defiant air, as of a man who comes prepared for injustice, ‘I know I work dem days at Pimento Valley, becase I keep book meself, an’ put down in him in me own hand all de days I work anywhere.’

‘Can you produce the book?’ Edward inquired of the excited negro.

‘It isn’t any use,’ Tom Dupuy interrupted angrily. ‘I’ve seen the book myself, and you can’t read it. It’s all kept in some heathenish African language or other.’

‘I must request you, Mr Dupuy, not to interrupt,’ Edward Hawthorn said in his sternest voice. ‘Please to remember, I beg of you, that this room is a court of justice.’

‘Not much justice here for white men, I expect,’ Tom Dupuy muttered to himself in a half-audible undertone. ‘The niggers’ll have it all their own way in future, of course, now they’ve got one of themselves to sit upon the bench for them.’

‘Produce the book,’ Edward said, turning to Delgado, and restraining his natural anger with some difficulty.

‘It doan’t no good, sah,’ the African answered, with a sigh of despondency, pulling out a greasy account-book from his open bosom, and turning over the pages slowly in moody silence. ‘It me own book, dat I hab for me own reference, an’ I keep him all in me own handwriting.’

Edward held out his hand commandingly, and took the greasy small volume that the African passed over to him, with some little amusement and surprise. He didn’t expect, of course, that he would be able to read it, but he thought at least he ought to see what sort of accounts the man kept; they would at anyrate be interesting, as throwing light upon negro ideas and modes of reckoning. He opened the book the negro gave him and turned it over hastily with a languid curiosity. In a second, a curious change came visibly over his startled face, and he uttered sharply a little sudden cry of unaffected surprise and astonishment. ‘Why,’ he said in a strangely altered voice, turning once more to the dogged African, who stood there staring at him in stolid indifference, ‘what on earth is the meaning of this? This is Arabic!’

Rosina Fleming, looking eagerly from in front at the curious characters, saw at once they were the same in type as the writing in the obeah book Delgado had showed her the evening she went to consult him at his hut about Isaac Pourtalès.

Delgado glanced back at the young judge with a face full of rising distrust and latent incredulity. ‘You doan’t can read it, sah?’ he asked suspiciously. ‘It African talk. You doan’t can read it?’

‘Certainly, I can,’ Edward answered with a smile. ‘It’s very beautifully and clearly written, and the entries are in good and accurate Arabic.’ And he read a word or two of the entries aloud, in proof of his ability to decipher at sight the mysterious characters.

Delgado in turn gave a sudden start; and drawing himself up to his full height, with newborn pride and dignity, he burst forth at once into a few sentences in some strange foreign tongue, deep and guttural, addressed apparently, as Tom Dupuy thought, to the new judge in passionate entreaty. But in reality the African was asking Edward Hawthorn, earnestly and in the utmost astonishment, whether it was a fact that he could really and truly speak Arabic.

Edward answered him back in a few words, rapidly spoken, in the fluent colloquial Egyptian dialect which he had learned in London from his Mohammedan teacher, Sheik Abdullah. It was but a short sentence, but it was quite enough to convince Delgado that he did positively understand the entries in the account-book. ‘De Lard be praise!’ the African shouted aloud excitedly. ‘De new judge, him can read de book I keep for me own reckonin’! De Lard be praise! Him gwine to delibber me!’

‘Did ever you see such a farce in your life?’ whispered Tom Dupuy to his uncle Theodore. ‘I don’t believe the fellow understands a single word of it; and I’m sure the gibberish they were talking to one another can’t possibly be part of any kind of human language even in Africa. And yet, after all, I don’t know! The fellow’s a nigger himself, and perhaps he may really have learned from his own people some of their confounded African lingoes. But who on earth would ever have believed, Uncle Theodore, we’d have lived to hear such trash as that talked openly from the very bench in a Queen’s court in the island of Trinidad!’

Edward coloured up again at the few words{246} which he caught accidentally of this ugly monologue; but he only said to the eager African: ‘I cannot speak with you here in Arabic, Delgado; here we must use English only.’

‘Certainly,’ Tom Dupuy suggested aloud—colonial courts are even laxer than English ones. ‘We mustn’t forget, of course, Mr Hawthorn, as you said just now, that this room is a court of justice.’

The young judge turned over the book to conceal his chagrin, and examined it carefully. ‘What are the dates in dispute?’ he asked, turning to the counsel.

Delgado and Tom Dupuy in one breath gave a full list of them. Counsel handed up a little written slip with the various doubtful days entered carefully upon it in ordinary English numbers. Edward ticked them off one by one in Delgado’s note-book, quietly to himself, smiling as he did so at the quaint Arabic translations of the Grove of Oranges and the Valley of Pimento. Every one of Delgado’s dates was quite accurately and carefully entered in his own account-book.

When they came to examine Tom Dupuy and his Scotch book-keeper, their account of the whole transaction was far less definite, clear, and consistent. Tom Dupuy, with a certain airy lordly indifference, admitted that his payments were often in arrears, and that his modes of book-keeping were often somewhat rough and ready. He didn’t pretend to keep an account personally of every man’s labour on his whole estate, he said; he was a gentleman himself, and he left that sort of thing, of course, to his book-keeper’s memory. The book-keeper didn’t remember that Louis Delgado had worked at Pimento Valley on those particular disputed mornings; though, to be sure, one naturally couldn’t be quite certain about it. But if you were going to begin taking a nigger’s word on such a matter against a white man’s, why, what possible security against false charges could you give in future to the white planter?

‘How often do you post up the entries in that book?’ Delgado’s counsel asked the Scotch book-keeper in cross-examination.

The book-keeper was quite as airy and easy as his master in this matter. ‘Well, whiles I do it at the time,’ he answered quietly, ‘and whiles I do it a wee bit later.’

‘An’ I put him down ebbery evening, de minute I home, sah, in dis note-book,’ Delgado shouted eagerly with a fierce gesticulation.

‘You must be quiet, please,’ Edward said, turning to him. ‘You mustn’t interrupt the witness or your counsel.’

‘Did Delgado work at Pimento Valley yesterday?’ the brown barrister asked, looking up from the books which Tom Dupuy had been forced to produce and hand in, in evidence.

The book-keeper hesitated and smiled a sinister smile. ‘He did,’ he answered after a moment’s brief internal conflict.

‘How is it, then, that the day’s work isn’t entered here already?’ the brown barrister went on pitilessly.

The book-keeper shuffled with an uneasy shuffle. ‘Ah, well, I should have entered it on Saturday evening,’ he answered evasively.

Edward turned to Delgado’s note-book. The last day’s work was entered properly in an evidently fresh ink, that of the previous two days looking proportionately blacker and older. There could be very little doubt, indeed, which of the two posted his books daily with the greater care and accuracy.

He heard the case out patiently and temperately, in spite of Delgado’s occasional wild outbursts and Tom Dupuy’s constant sneers, and at the end he proceeded to deliver judgment as calmly as he was able, without prejudice. It was a pity that the first case he heard should have been one which common justice compelled him to give against Tom Dupuy, but there was no helping it. ‘The court enters judgment for the plaintiff,’ he said in a loud clear voice. ‘Delgado’s books, though unfortunately kept only in Arabic for his own reference, have been carefully and neatly posted.—Yours, Mr Dupuy, I regret to say, are careless, inadequate, and inaccurate; and I am also sorry to see that the case was heard in the first instance by one of your own near relations, which circumstance, it would have been far wiser, as well as more seemly, to have avoided.’

Tom Dupuy grew red and pale by turns as he listened in blank surprise and dismay to this amazing and unprecedented judgment. A black man’s word taken in evidence in open court against a white gentleman’s! It was too appalling! ‘Well, well, Uncle Theodore,’ he said bitterly, rising to go, ‘I expected as much, though it’s hard to believe it. I knew we should never get decent justice in this court any longer!’

But Delgado stood there, dazed and motionless, gazing with mute wonder at the pale face of the new judge, and debating within himself whether it could be really true or not that he had gained his case against the powerful Dupuy faction. Not that he understood for a moment the exact meaning of the legal words, ‘judgment for the plaintiff;’ but he saw at once on Tom Dupuy’s face that the white man was positively livid with anger and had been severely reprimanded. ‘De Lard be praise!’ he ejaculated at last. ‘De judge is righteous judge, an’ him lub de black man!’

Edward would have given a great deal just then if Delgado in the moment of his triumph had not used those awkward words, ‘him lub de black man!’ But there was no use brooding over it now; so, as the court was clearing he merely signed with his finger to Delgado, and whispered hastily in his ear: ‘Come to me this evening in my own room; I want to hear from you how and where you learned Arabic.’


When Edward made his way, wearied and anxious, into his own room behind the courthouse, Delgado was waiting for him there, and as the judge entered, he rose quickly and uttered a few words of customary salutation in excellent Arabic. Edward Hawthorn observed at once that a strange change seemed to have come over the ragged old negro. He had lost his slouching, half-savage manner, and stood more erect, or bowed in self-respecting obeisance, with a certain obvious consciousness of personal dignity which at once reminded him of Sheik Abdullah. He{247} noticed, too, that while the man’s English was the mere broken Creole language he had learned from the other negroes around him, his Arabic was the pure colloquial classical Arabic of the Cairo ulemas. It was astonishing what a difference this change of tongue made in the tattered old black field-labourer: when he spoke English, he was the mere ordinary plantation negro; when he spoke Arabic, he was the decently educated and perfectly courteous African Moslem.

‘You have quite surprised me, Delgado,’ Edward said, still in colloquial Arabic. ‘I had no idea there were any Africans in Trinidad who understood the language of the Koran. How did you ever come to learn it?’

The old African bowed graciously, and expanded his hands with a friendly gesture. ‘Effendi,’ he answered, ‘Allah is not wholly without his true followers in any country. Is it not written in your own book that when Elijah, the forerunner of the Prophet, cried in the cave, saying: “I alone am left of the worshippers of Allah,” the Lord answered and said unto him in his mercy: “I have left me seven thousand souls in Israel which have not bowed the knee to Baal?” Even so, Allah has his followers left even here among the infidels in Trinidad.’

‘Then you are still a Mussulman?’ Edward cried in surprise.

The old African rose again from the seat into which Edward had politely motioned him, and folding both his hands reverently in front of him, answered in a profoundly solemn voice: ‘There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.’

‘But I thought—I understood—I was told that you were a teacher and preacher up yonder in the Methodist chapel.’

Delgado shrugged his shoulders with African expressiveness. ‘What can I do?’ he said, throwing open his hands sideways. ‘They have brought me here all the way from the Gold Coast. There is no mosque here, no ulema, no other Moslems. What can I do? I have to do as the other negroes do.—But see!’ and he drew something carefully from the folds of his dirty cotton shirt: ‘I have brought a Book with me. I have kept it sacredly all these years. Have you seen it? Do you know it?’

Edward opened the soiled and dog-eared but carefully treasured volume that the negro handed him. He knew it at once. It was a copy of the Koran. He turned the pages over lightly till he came to the famous chapter of the Seven Treasures; then he began to read aloud a few verses in a clear, easy, Arabic intonation.

Delgado started when he heard the young judge actually reading the sacred volume. ‘So you, too, are a Moslem!’ he cried excitedly.

Edward smiled. ‘No,’ he answered; ‘I am no Mussulman. But I have learned Arabic, and I have read the Koran.’

‘Mussulman or Christian,’ Delgado answered fervently, throwing up his head, ‘you are a servant of Allah. You have given judgment to-day like Daniel the Hebrew or like Othman Calif, the successor of the Prophet. When the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives, Allah will surely not forget the least among his servants.’

Edward did not understand the hidden meaning of that seemingly conventional pious tag, so he merely answered: ‘But you haven’t yet told me, remnant of the faithful, how you ever came to learn Arabic.’

Thus encouraged, Delgado loosed the strings of his tongue, and poured forth rapidly with African volubility the whole marvellous story of his life. The son of a petty chieftain on the Guinea coast, he had been sent in his boyhood by his father, a Mohammedan convert, to the native schools for the negroes at Cairo, where he had remained till he was over seventeen years old, and had then returned to his father’s principality. There, he had gone out to fight in some small war between two neighbouring negro chieftains, the events of which war he insisted on detailing to Edward at great length; and having been taken prisoner by the hostile party, he had at last been sold in the bad old days, when a contraband ‘ebony-trade’ still existed, to a Cuban slaver. The slaver had been captured off Sombrero Rock by an English cruiser, and all the negroes landed at Trinidad. That was the sum and substance of the strangely romantic story told by the old African to the young English barrister in the Westmoreland courthouse. Couched in his childish and ignorant negro English, it would no doubt have sounded ludicrous and puerile; but poured forth in classical Arabic almost as pure and fluent as Sheik Abdullah’s own, it was brimful of pathos, eloquence, interest, and weirdness. Yet strange and almost incredible as it seemed to Edward’s mind, the old African himself apparently regarded it as the most natural and simple concatenation of events that could easily happen to anybody anywhere.

‘And how is it,’ Edward asked at last, in profound astonishment, lapsing once more into English, ‘that you have never tried to get back to Africa?’

Delgado smiled an ugly smile, that showed all his teeth, not pleasantly, but like the teeth of a bulldog snarling. ‘Do you tink, sah,’ he said sarcastically, ‘dat dem fightin’ Dupuy is gwine to help a poor black naygur to go back to him own country? Ole-time folk has proverb; “Mongoose no help cane-rat find de way back to him burrow.”’

Edward could hardly believe the sudden transformation. In a single moment, with the change of language, the educated African had vanished utterly, and the plantation negro stood once more undisguised before him. And yet, Edward thought curiously to himself, which, after all, was the truest and most genuine of those two contrasted but united personalities—the free Mussulman, or the cowed and hopeless Trinidad field-labourer? Strange, too, that while this born African could play as he liked at fetichism or Christianity, could do obeah or sing psalms from his English hymn-book, the profoundly penetrating and absorbing creed of Islam was the only one that had sunk deep into the very inmost marrow of his negro nature. About that fact, Edward could not for a moment have the faintest hesitation. Delgado—Coromantyn or West Indian—was an undoubting Mussulman. Christianity was but a cloak with which he covered himself outwardly, to himself and others;{248} obeah was but an art that he practised in secret for unlawful profit: Islam, the faith most profoundly and intimately adapted to the negro idiosyncrasy, was the creed that had burnt itself into his very being, in spite of all changes of outer circumstance. Not that Delgado believed his Bible the less: with the frank inconsistency of early minds, he held the two incompatible beliefs without the faintest tinge of conscious hypocrisy; just as many of ourselves, though Christian enough in all externals, hold lingering relics of pagan superstitions about horseshoes, and crooked sixpences, and unlucky days, and the mystic virtues of a cornelian amulet. Every morning he spelt over religiously a chapter in the New Testament; and every night, in the gloom of his hut, he read to himself in hushed awe a few versicles of the holy Koran.

When story and comment were fully finished, the old African rose to go. As he opened the door, Edward held out his hand for the negro to shake. Delgado, now once more the plantation labourer, hesitated for a second, fearing to take it; then at last, drawing himself up to his full height, and instinctively clutching at his loose cotton trousers, as though they had been the flowing white robes of his old half-forgotten Egyptian school-days, he compromised the matter by making a profound salaam, and crying in his clear Arabic gutturals: ‘May the blessing of Allah, the All-wise, the merciful, rest for ever on the effendi, his servant, who has delivered a just judgment!’

In another moment, he had glided through the door; and Edward, hardly yet able to realise the strangeness of the situation, was left alone with his own astonishment.


In the following paper we propose to discard entirely the word mind as an expression of the faculty of reflection, since it is frequently misapplied or misunderstood, and its employment is vague and unsatisfactory. We prefer using a term denoting the receptivity of ideas through an organic medium by an immaterial force having the power of acting on the ingestion of ideas, and diffusing its action through the corresponding media of the nervous system: this we shall call the intellectual force, and its action is the sequence of conscious or unconscious cerebration. It is not our purpose to enter upon a consideration of the higher relations of intellectual action with so-called spiritual forces, as this would necessarily tend to the contemplation of an extra element than that more particularly implied in the attributes of instinct and reason; for by these words, in their ordinary acceptation, we recognise two separate faculties, independent, yet coexistent, and capable of harmonious co-operation, but not necessarily co-ordinate nor coexistent, since the one we contend to be the natural property of all animated beings; while the other is in part the result of transmitted intelligence, education, and enlightenment, conveyed from a higher to a lower power.

Instinct, as the more universally diffused and common endowment, is to be found throughout the whole range of the animal kingdom; and to deny its existence in one class of creation and grant it in another is illogical and contrary to the recognised and established plan of creation; it is rather a general inheritance; in some forms of life the chief or sole guide to voluntary action; while in other or higher forms, partially overlaid, and in a measure superseded, by the faculty of reason. Yet we should be, we think, altogether wrong in supposing it non-existent, because, through the cultivation and development of reasoning power, it is less easily discerned, and less fully exercised in man, than in the lower animals; for, by inquiry in the lives of uncivilised humanity, we shall find undoubted proofs of instinct in the ordinary passages of savage life, as in the choice of food; the selection of certain herbs for medicinal purposes; the capacity of tracking a path from one point to another in great distances; the avoidance of poisonous articles of diet; casual injuries; and, above all, the clinging to life which is common to all mankind. And even in civilised beings, we may discern evident traces of the same property underlying the more ostensible gift of reason, and instinctive, though otherwise unaccountable, motives leading to definite conclusions. These may take the forms of likes or dislikes towards outer objects; impulses, frequently and truly termed unreasonable, because they arise apart from reason, and are purely instinctive; hence actions that are simply the outcomes of instinct, not reconcilable to the written laws of reason or the mandates of civilisation.

In some rare instances of humanity run wild, only a few of which have been recorded, where, by some accident, a human offspring has grown up as a denizen of the forest and the companion of wild beasts, the gift of instinct serves the same purpose it fulfils in the rest of the creation; and when first brought into contact with civilisation, these outcasts have apparently evinced few, or none, of the actual attributes of reason, though these have become perceptible later on through human companionship and attention. But even centuries of cultivation and the highest hereditary advantages fail utterly to eliminate or destroy the inherent property of instinct in man; for not only, as above stated, is it displayed in the common shrinking from death and the avoidance of injury and suffering, but it manifests itself in countless other instances in daily life. Let us regard the union of sexes as one: how frequently is the choice of a partner in life made through nothing less than a blind instinct, often apart from any reasoning process, so much so, that the fact has passed into a proverb that ‘Love is blind.’ And in the common affairs of life, it is often possible to trace an independent course of action pursued without reference to a reasoning faculty, rather by a blind adherence to an unseen hidden principle, which is{249} undoubtedly instinct guiding rather than reason. And this obedience to an unknown faculty has doubtless, in the history of the world, played important parts; especially when, in prehistoric times, man was essentially a predatory animal. On his instinctive love of fighting for personal aggrandisement, and his instinctive love of the chase for providing food and clothing, his very existence in a great measure depended. Indeed, the motives which influence and direct men’s lives are only, after all, the attributes of instinct, as we commonly observe portrayed in civilised society; thus, in one, the instinct of commercial enterprise pushes towards speculation; in another, the instinct of self-preservation induces precautions of benefit to the community; again, the instinct of need prompts measures for procuring supplies of food and clothing. On all hands, human instinct is an active agent and irrepressible.

And further, we may find the instinct of an unseen yet overruling power dominant in one form or another among the whole human race; even where, degraded by numberless superstitions, it exists among the dusky tribes of Africa, the Red American Indians, or in the countless mythological legends of nations long passed away, the instinctive belief in a God holds universal sway. In the common affairs of life, too, the teaching of instinct is displayed, as in presentiments, which, like impulses, have frequently no rational basis, but by the observance of which, our lives are not uncommonly modified in their effects and made subservient to the unseen. It is indeed possible, were the chapters of human lives actually recorded, it would be found in how many important instances and numberless occasions the exercise of instinct prevails above that of reason. It is, however, to be noted, that in proportion as the exercise of intellectual force is stimulated by education and strengthened by practice, instinctive action becomes more and more influenced by reason; and just as particular muscles, by long use, increase in bulk, so the repeated receptivity of ideas by the higher organism of the brain leads to the reflective powers being increased; and, as a natural consequence, the actions thus performed betoken the connection of ideas from which they spring, and are consequently attributed to reason.

Reason may thus be regarded, in the abstract, as the result of ideas received by the sensory ganglia, and transmitted by them to the higher organs of perception, reflected thence on the motory system by which the actions of animal life are governed, the repeated discharge of these functions constituting processes of thought or reflection.

Admitting this to be a rough outline of reasoning with its outcome action, we have a familiar example of this process displayed by members of the animal kingdom that are habitually brought into the society and companionship of man. Daily usage supplies experience, which, by the receptivity of ideas, constitutes a reasoning faculty, such as is constantly manifested in the actions of various animals, and which as much overrules mere instinct in them as it does in the higher animal man. For example, in my dog the predatory instinct is very strongly marked; but it daily passes and frequently enters butchers’ shops, sniffing under the carcases and joints for any scraps of meat, however small, yet never attempting to take advantage of a piece that is offered for sale. We have also frequently noticed, when driving on our rounds in a country practice, the horse would voluntarily slacken its speed as it approached the house of a patient, and scarcely require a check to draw up at the door. Why some human beings should betray a jealous disapproval of the recognition of reason in animals, seems to us utterly unaccountable. It is surely no insult to the Creator of all things if we grant the attribute of reasoning powers to His creatures; while it savours strongly of narrow and limited views of His beneficence to deny it.

It is the object of this paper to claim recognition and respect for the reasoning faculties of animals, particularly the class of domestic animals that are brought into daily intercourse with man. In them, more especially, we note habits of thought and traits of intelligence, apart from and above the mere prompting of instinct, that entitle them to our best consideration. But in the dog, as the friend of man, we shall naturally find the examples most ready to hand, not only of emotions akin to those of his master, but sentiments of honour, love, watchfulness, trust, duty, and obedience, courage, forbearance, self-denial, overcoming the mere instinct of hunger; also sensitiveness, shame, and jealousy, with self-devotion surpassing even the fear of death. In the horse, too, we find obedience, trust, eagerness to please, and affection. Even in cattle, we may notice attachment to home and persons, courage, patience, and docility.

We do not here propose to enter on a list of the attributes of reason to be observed in all animals; it is needless to relate the numberless authenticated instances recorded of elephants, tamed deer, gazelles, monkeys, and birds. To the thoughtful observer, proofs of intelligence and reflection, with experience, judgment, and conscientiousness are readily found, and even in the wild animals, as the rat, the fox, lions, and tigers, remarkable facts are recorded, which evidence powers of reflection and the exercise of judgment and reason. A lion, for instance, has been seen to drive away a cow from the herd, not rending it at once, but urging it by menaces, so as to secure its prey in a more convenient spot. Tigers watch in the jungle for the passing post-carriers, recognising their approach by the jingling sound of their ornaments, and knowing from experience that the wearers will afford them the necessary meal. The stories of foxes are legion; their cunning in eluding pursuit, and their prompt recognition of such chance advantages as the occasion may afford, evince a reasoning power beyond the mere impulse of instinct. Again, in rats, who has not witnessed countless proofs of intelligence, denoting forethought, prudence, and care, not only in their search for food, avoidance of snares, and concealment, but also exemplified in their mutual intercourse? A regimental officer once stationed at Aden described to the writer the skill of a party of rats in purloining every day the bread placed on the dinner-table. The servant who laid the table{250} could not account for the disappearance of the several portions of bread placed ready beside the napkin and glasses, till, after watching some time, a small party of rats was seen to enter the room, and while some of them held the lower border of the table-cloth, another rapidly ascended, and mounting the table, dislodged the pieces of bread, which, falling off, were speedily appropriated by those below. The beaver has been often cited as exhibiting an almost human aptitude in the construction of dams and the formation of its lodge, and this appears more as the result of deductive reasoning, taught, no doubt, by experience, and transmitted by hereditary descent. In birds, the Corvidæ afford striking instances of the exercise of judgment and reflection, especially in the habits of rooks and ravens; we might add also magpies. But space prevents us from enlarging on this point.

The common wild bee constructs its nest in a mossy bank, and the comb is formed of rude circular cells arranged in a small group. The hive-bee, whose thickly peopled home affords but a limited space, constructs its comb of closely packed hexagonal cells, an arrangement which gives the greatest room for each cell in a circumscribed area. It accidentally occurred to the writer, many years since, to put aside a large box of pills closely packed, and left, without being opened, through the summer. When at last examined, it was found that the pills had become closely impacted together, and each individual pill was compressed in the form of a hexagon, remarkably resembling in outline the waxen cells of the hive-bee. The conduct of ants, in their communications by signalling to each other, evinces something more than blind instinct; otherwise, how can we explain the deliberate action which results from information conveyed by signals, and the plan of operations conducted on a scale beyond all relation to the size of the insignificant insects by which they are performed?

Mankind is too apt to monopolise the claim to reason, and allows to the lower animal world the gift of instinct as a kind of compromise; whereas, it has been abundantly shown that he shares also in the gift of instinct, and they likewise have a fair claim to the exercise of reason. There is nothing inconsistent in this view with the great plan of creation, for all classes of animals partake of the elements of the human frame in their general physical construction adapted to particular requirements, as anatomists have shown that man in his development from the ovum passes through the several grades of the animal kingdom by different homologies to the perfect human frame. And though in him reason assumes its highest condition, yet in the various types of his race there are as widely differing degrees of reasoning power, from the tree-dwelling tribes of Central India and the Lilliputian inhabitants of the forests of Borneo, to the highly educated and more amply endowed members of European and transatlantic society; and as, in the human race, reason exercises a paramount and prevailing sway, under which all other forces are subject, so instinct remains behind, still an element of humanity, though less conspicuous in the higher culture of civilisation than in the primitive savage, and more evident still in the lower animal world; though even here subjected to reasoning power, according, in a manner, to the amount of education and enlightenment received by these at the hand of man. Instinct belongs no more to the brute beast than to man, and reason is the heritage of both.



Tipsy!’ I muttered to myself with a scornful glance, and a strong feeling of disgust, as I hurriedly passed him by. Such would be, I suppose, the almost invariable exclamation of a young man whom circumstances combined with taste to keep in the path of strictest temperance, on seeing an elderly and prosperous-looking gentleman lurching unevenly along a street in the City between four and five o’clock one damp February afternoon. ‘Tipsy!’ I said, and passed on; yet, though so sad a spectacle had neither pleasure nor interest for me, I turned, after I had gone a few steps, to look once more at the supposed inebriate. That one glance showed me that my hasty judgment of his condition had been as unjust as it was uncharitable. That look of pain and distress, those starting eyes, the heavy beads of perspiration on the brow, were due not to intoxication, but to illness. As I looked at him, he stumbled, tottered on a step or two, and would have fallen, had I not, in two hasty strides, reached his side and caught him in my arms. A large envelope, apparently containing some heavy document, fell from his nerveless hand at the moment of his collapse. I picked it up, and hastily thrust it into the pocket of my overcoat, still supporting my helpless burden. The act was instinctive, almost unconscious, and no sooner done than forgotten; and the next moment my mind was wholly occupied with an appeal to one of the many young men who were hurrying by, as I myself had been, to catch the train at Broad Street, to expend a few minutes in calling a cab for me and the unfortunate man who had so suddenly become my charge.

I drove him to the nearest hospital, and left him there, stating in a few words the little I knew of his sudden attack, and the chance which had thrown him on my protection.

‘It is apoplexy,’ said the house-surgeon, in whose care I left him. ‘Doubtless, he is some speculator who has risked too much in a shaky Company, and whose head has given way under the shock of losing his money. We have cases like that here pretty often, especially in times of long-continued depression of trade. Will you wait and see if he has on him a visiting card or anything bearing his name and address?’

I declined to stay longer than was necessary, for I had promised to spend that evening with my fellow-clerk Atherton, and did not want to be late for my engagement with the lad, for whom I had a sort of elder-brotherly affection. But I promised to call at the hospital next day and inquire for my protégé; and departed, the richer by what I suppose would be regarded as a virtuous action, and the poorer by the eighteenpence I had paid for the cab-fare.


It now seems to me to have been despicably, ludicrously selfish to have thought so little of the fate of the man I had left in such dangerous plight at the hospital, and so much of that expenditure of eighteenpence. I hope that I am not naturally a miser, yet I fear some niggardly instincts were dawning in me at that time, as, indeed, is almost inevitable in a young man who, having passed his early years under the shadow of that most wearing of sorrows—debt, is desirous of not merely living within, but effecting some savings from, an income of a hundred and twenty pounds a year. I recall now that I determined to do without tobacco for a week; and with this resolution in my mind, I hurried to the Broad Street station, en route for Atherton’s lodgings in Camden Town.

I could not have told at that time what attracted me so strongly to Gerald Atherton, any more than Olivia could have explained the prophetic fascination which drew her to Viola. But there was an atmosphere of youth and freshness about the boy—he was the youngest of all the clerks in our office, a bright-eyed lad, not yet eighteen—that had a refreshing influence on me. I was not old myself—just twenty-four—but eight years’ life in a City office, coming after a boyhood which had had many of the anxieties of middle age, made me feel almost patriarchal compared with my joyous and inexperienced junior. There was, too, a similarity in the circumstances of our lives which tended to friendship.

‘Only, you know, Langham,’ said the boy one day, early in our acquaintance, when we were speaking on the subject, ‘my responsibilities are greater than yours; I have May to look after. A sister is a great anxiety, and when she happens to be your twin-sister, you feel that you are in a special way bound to take care of her.’

‘Where is your sister now?’ I asked.

‘Not far away. She is companion to an old lady at Hampstead. That’s why I live in Camden Town, because it is comparatively near; and I can go occasionally to see May, and even sometimes have a visit from her at my lodgings.’

‘Companion to an old lady!’ I repeated. ‘That’s a dreary life for a young girl.’

‘May doesn’t seem to dislike it; and Mrs Bowden treats her very kindly. The plague of her life is the continual espionage of the old lady’s relations—or rather her dead husband’s relations; she seems to have none of her own—who are quite convinced that my poor little sister’s courtesy to her employer—she hasn’t it in her to be uncivil to a boa-constrictor, the little darling!—is inspired by mercenary motives. That annoys her; but as we are two young people alone in the world, without a penny except what we earn, we must put up with disagreeables—May, with the suspicions of those greedy waiters on dead men’s shoes; and I, with getting the blame of everybody else’s blunders as well as my own. Really, the undeserved or only half-deserved scoldings I get, sometimes irritate me fearfully—and then at times I feel I’d do anything for a good game at cricket. I don’t think I could bear it all, if you didn’t stand by me, Langham.’

‘Who wouldn’t stand by a manly boy like you, Gerald!’ I protested, laughing.

‘Boy, my friend!’ cried Gerald with one of those bright merry glances, accompanied with an upward toss of the head, which always came upon me with the effect of a sunbeam—‘boy, indeed! I am a City man, sir, and demand to be spoken to with respect!’

‘Moreover,’ I went on, ‘the circumstances of your early life are so similar to those of my own childhood, that I felt interested in you as soon as I knew them. My widowed mother, like yours, wore out her life in a long struggle with poverty, and died just when I was about to cease being a burden to her. The only difference is that my mother was doubly overweighted by having to pay off debts of my father’s youth, contracted before he ever met her.’

‘Did not your father’s family take the responsibility even of those?’

‘No,’ I replied. ‘My grandfather, after bringing up his son to no profession, and encouraging him in extravagance, cast him off on his marriage with a penniless girl, and left him to sink or swim as best he could. I imagine that my father cannot have been possessed of much moral courage, or he would not have submitted to live on the earnings of my mother’s music-teaching. But he had never been accustomed to work, and his health was bad. He died when I was three years old. Then my mother made an appeal to my grandfather to do something for me, if not for her, or at least take the responsibility of those few hundred pounds of debt which he could have paid without feeling himself a whit poorer, but which formed a millstone round her neck. But the rich Liverpool merchant, who was ready to subscribe lavishly to ostentatious charities, refused to help his daughter-in-law by a penny, and refused in such a letter! My mother never showed it to me, but I found it in her desk after her death. I keep it still, and to this day my blood boils if I read its insulting words.’

‘And did your grandfather never soften?’

‘He gave no sign of it; and on his death, he left all he possessed to my aunt, my father’s half-sister.’

‘And she?’

‘I confess,’ said I, ‘that she did make some advances towards me, but they came at an unlucky moment. My mother had just died; and from the letters I found after her death, I had learned for the first time with what cruelty she had been treated. Besides, I had lately obtained my first situation, and was disposed to be aggressively independent. So I declined my aunt’s invitation to visit her with a rudeness which no one would be guilty of but an inexperienced boy at the age when he is most desirous of being thought a man.’

‘I suppose that was the end of it all?’

‘Not quite. Six months later, after I had come to London, I received another letter from my aunt, in which she stated that she had intended to adopt me and make me her heir, if I had not so insolently rejected her friendly overtures; but that I need no longer hope for anything from her, as she was about to be married shortly. And she added—rather vindictively, I thought—that as her future husband was considerably younger than herself, he would{252} probably survive her and inherit all her property. I fancy she thought to excite in me an avaricious regret for my previous coldness; but in truth my only idea was that in making her become the wife of a man much her junior, spite and loneliness were combining to lead her into a great folly; for, as she was considerably older than my father, she must by that time have been quite a middle-aged woman, and I suspected the youthful husband of fortune-hunting. That was the last I ever heard of my only surviving relative. I don’t know what name she bore after her marriage, nor even if she still lives. I stand quite alone.’

‘Poor old man!’ said the boy affectionately. ‘Rich as you are—from my point of view, for your salary is twice as large as mine—I am better off than you. I don’t stand alone; I have May.’

‘I should think a sister was only an additional anxiety,’ I replied.

‘True; but still there’s a selfish comfort in the thought that somebody cares for you. At least, I like it. I’m a sentimental sort of animal, who likes being petted—not a calm, self-contained creature like you.’

I doubt if I deserved Atherton’s epithets. I felt very lonely at times, and the boy’s affection—for he was sincerely attached to me, and had a refreshing un-English readiness to display his attachment—was charming. I told him more of my history and feelings than I had ever before confided to any one; for he was as sympathetic as a woman, while possessing a discretion reputed to be rare among feminine creatures.

In truth I was greatly attached to Gerald, and I was quite distressed this afternoon at the thought of being late for my engagement with him. It was his birthday, and we were to take tea together at his lodgings, and then go to the theatre, and I feared that my delay might interfere with our plans.

But it was another and more cheerful accident than that of being late that was to prevent our occupying the pit at the Lyceum that night. I had expected to see Gerald’s face looking for me from the window of his sitting-room, as I approached the little street with the long name—Mount Edgcumbe Terrace—where he resided; but I was surprised, and for the moment bewildered, to find two faces gazing with interest at my approaching figure—two faces so alike in feature and colouring, that though a moment’s reflection convinced me that they must belong to Gerald Atherton and his twin-sister, I could not have said which of them was my friend’s. Each had the same bright, laughing, dark-blue eyes, the same short, curling, dark-brown hair, the same contour and expression, and at this moment the same merry and mischievous smile. I thought I had never in my life seen a prettier sight than these two joyous, youthful figures standing side by side.

‘Confess, Langham, that you didn’t know which was who, when you saw us just now,’ cried Gerald as I entered the room.

I admitted that I had been puzzled for the moment; ‘though,’ I added, ‘I am sure that a longer glimpse would have enabled me to distinguish Miss Atherton from you.’

‘Yes,’ returned Gerald, ‘I know that my poor little sister is only a plain-looking likeness of my bewitching self, that could not deceive any one for more than a moment.’

Miss Atherton made a little moue of protest at her brother as she said: ‘Mr Langham only means that the stool on which I was standing, to make me look as tall as you, was so shaky, that I shouldn’t have been able to keep on it a minute longer.’

Then I tried again to utter a complimentary remark, which Gerald again appropriated, whereupon we all laughed and were friends at once.

I had known nothing of the effect of a woman’s presence in the house since I had been old enough to appreciate it; it was therefore a revelation to me to note how May Atherton glorified that dingy parlour in Camden Town. As she moved to and fro, making the tea-table in some nameless way a thousand times more attractive than the landlady knew how to do, my eyes followed her with a persistence which would have been embarrassing to her had she been troubled with the least degree of self-consciousness; but of all the women I have ever known, May Atherton was the most completely free from vanity and all the faults that accompany it. At present her thoughts were occupied solely with the pleasure of being in her brother’s society, and the desire to make things brighter for him and his friend, whom, for Gerald’s sake, she accepted as her friend also.

‘I really feel as if I knew you quite well, Mr Langham,’ she said, ‘for Gerald has spoken to me often of you; and I am so glad to feel that my boy has a good thoughtful friend, older than himself, to advise and help him.’

The motherly air with which May uttered the last words sat prettily if strangely on her extreme youth, and indeed between the pair of children there were a hundred touches of reciprocal tenderness and protection, which were very pleasant to look at, though they made me feel very lonely and a little envious. Not that I had any cause to feel neglected; for Gerald and his sister united in making much of me—he for my own sake, she for her brother’s sake. Only for your brother’s sake, were you so kind to me then, sweet May; afterwards, it was, I hope, for a more personal reason!

I could spend much time in describing that happy evening; but perhaps, repeated to less sympathetic ears, the wit might not seem so witty nor the wisdom so wise as they did to us. At last, however, May said with a sigh that she must go home; and Gerald proposed that I as well as he should escort her to the door of the ‘ogress’s castle.’

‘But you must not call Mrs Bowden an ogress,’ protested May, laying a hand upon her brother’s shoulder; ‘she is very kind to me. Was it not thoughtful of her to let me come and spend this evening with you, because I had mentioned a week ago that it was our birthday? She is always so much interested in what I say of you—and she likes to hear about you too, Mr Langham,’ added the girl, turning to me.

‘About me!’ I repeated. ‘How does she know of my existence?’

‘Oh, I have mentioned your name often, in speaking of Gerald and his friends, and she frequently questions me about you. I suppose{253} she likes you for Gerald’s sake, and Gerald for mine.’

‘Don’t deceive yourself, mademoiselle,’ interrupted the irrepressible Gerald. ‘Her liking for you is the mere anticipation of the passion that will fill her when she sees me. She cares for you only as Olivia did for Viola before she saw Sebastian.’

How had the boy hit upon that comparison? I had conversely been thinking for three hours past that my liking for Sebastian had been the mere anticipation of my love for Viola!

At her brother’s words, May laughed and shook her head. ‘Don’t you deceive yourself, dear. There is no rival to “dear Henry” in Mrs Bowden’s heart.’

‘Who is “dear Henry?”’ I asked.

‘The late Mr Bowden, and the one vexation of my life.’

‘How can that be, if he is dead?’

‘Alas! he has left innumerable relatives, who haunt his widow and sing his praises. They profess to be actuated only by exceptional devotion to his memory and by affection for his widow; and I suppose it is only the natural perversity of my soul that reminds me of the fact that Mrs Bowden is very rich and has no relatives of her own. Perhaps it is their strong and very plainly displayed jealousy of my supposed influence over my employer that makes me think so uncharitably of them.’

‘And does Mrs Bowden believe in their professions?’

‘I don’t know; but she is a very shrewd old lady; and I suspect her of finding some pleasure in giving each of “dear Henry’s” relatives in turn the impression that he or she is to be her heir, and then dashing their hopes to the ground. To-day, she has delighted her husband’s brother, and will doubtless drive all the other relatives to despair, by giving him Mr Bowden’s favourite seal, a thing she cherishes greatly. This is supposed to be almost equivalent to making a will in his favour. I suppose it’s malicious,’ said May with one of her brightest smiles, ‘but I can’t help getting some fun out of it too. You see, she has expressly stated that she has no intention of dividing her property; one individual is to inherit all, so the anxiety of each is intense, though concealed. I really think the only relief they all have from their dissimulated hatred of each other is their open hatred of me.’

‘Poor little girl! How can even the most prejudiced of fortune-hunters hate you? It is hard to bear,’ said Gerald tenderly, taking his sister’s hand in his.

But the shade which had for a moment darkened her face vanished as she saw it reflected in his. ‘That is only a little trouble, dear,’ she said gently, ‘so little, that if I had any harder ones, I should not notice it; and by way of compensation, I am sure that Mrs Bowden herself really loves and trusts me.’

We were very merry as we walked up to the old house in Well Walk, Hampstead, where Miss Atherton lived. A pretty, picturesque place it seemed in the dim spring moonlight; and May grew quite animated in telling me of the quaint relics of past centuries which survived beside the modern comfort of its furnishing. The path between the garden door and that of the house had been covered with glass and made into a conservatory, where even at this early time of the year flowers and rare ferns spread their leaves. Gerald and I watched May pass within the door, feeling—at least I did—like Moore’s unfortunate Peri to whom the doors of heaven were shut. At the inner door she turned and waved her hand, sending a smile of farewell down the flowery vista. Then she disappeared, and suddenly the night grew darker.

I had all this time—so selfish a thing is pleasure!—forgotten the unfortunate gentleman whose sudden illness I had witnessed; but as Gerald and I were walking down Haverstock Hill, after parting with May, the thought of him suddenly came to my mind, and at the same moment I recollected the packet I had picked up and put in my pocket. I narrated the incident of the afternoon to my friend, and went back with him to his rooms to examine the thickly-filled envelope which had come into my possession. There was on it neither address nor other superscription; one side was soiled by falling in the mud of the street; on the other was a large seal in red wax, on which I deciphered, in old English characters, the letters H. L. B., below a mailed hand holding a dagger, and above the motto, ‘What I hold, I hold fast.’

I determined to take the packet to the hospital next day, when I should go to inquire for the invalid, and either give it to him, or, if his condition rendered him incapable of taking care of it, intrust it to the house-surgeon. It was not permitted to me to fulfil my intention. When, after my day’s work, I went to the hospital, I found that the patient in whom I was interested had been removed.

‘We found out his name and address from some letters in his pocket,’ said the house-surgeon, ‘and sent a message to his family. His son came immediately and removed him.’

‘What is the name?’ I asked.

‘I forget. Collins or Cotton, or something like that; but I can’t speak with any certainty. He was a solicitor, I remember.’

‘Is not his name on the hospital books?’

‘No. He was here so short a time, that it was never entered.’

‘How very unfortunate!’ I exclaimed.

‘Why? Was it of importance that you should see him?’ asked the house-surgeon, an easygoing and careless youth, who had evidently felt hitherto that my interrogatories were tiresome and unnecessary, but was now roused to attention by the fervour of my tone.

‘It may be of considerable importance to him. He dropped a packet, apparently containing documents, when he fell yesterday. I picked it up, and forgot to deliver it to you when I left him in your charge. It may be essential to him to regain immediate possession of it.’

The young doctor was sufficiently interested now, but he could do nothing; he had no certain recollection of anything connected with his patient. I was forced to content myself with leaving with him my name, Richard Langham, and the address of Messrs Hamley and Green, in whose employ I was, that he might refer to me if any inquiry was made about the packet.

I doubted not that I should within a few{254} days be relieved of the charge of it; but days and weeks passed into months, and that sealed envelope remained in my possession, and lay like an undeserved burden on my conscience.


The whispering May wind stirs the hawthorn and lilac in the old priory garden, and brings great gushes of delicious scent past the window, and fills the room with sweetness. All the last month the weather has been fitful and changeable—rain and storm, sunshine and cloud, dust and east winds; but after two days of soaking downpour and wild west wind, the morning of the last day of May has dawned in the full glorious beauty of late spring. Thrushes and blackbirds vie with each other in song, sweet and shrill, clear and inspiring; a modest siskin whistles its little monotonous roulade; now and then, a few notes of the shy linnet are heard; a robin is feeding its brood close by; swallows and martins are darting about in all directions; in the apple blossoms are hundreds of bees, making a dense dreamy music; while their compatriot the humble-bee booms along with his big velvety body shining and gleaming in the sun.

What a splendid creature! See, it settles close at hand. Turn it over with a grass bent. With a surprised buzz, it rights itself. Again and yet again it turns over, seemingly staring to see the cause of its overthrow. Draw the bent lightly across its back—two legs are instantly raised to brush off the unwelcome touch. A second time the same; a third, and the bent is fairly clutched by all the gummy legs, and retained under its body. It crawls up a stick, and with angry bustle, goes booming off.

One does not realise summer is so close upon us, when May is such a capricious maiden, till a morning like this wakes one up to the conviction that in twenty-four more days the sun will have reached its altitude, and soon will begin the shortening days again. The garden here is quaint, and quite unlike the generality of town gardens. From the square of paved court rises one step, and then a stretch of grass, an oval flower-bed each side, a path up the centre; sloping grass banks supported with large stones, where huge bunches of primroses spring from the niches. Along the sides are rockeries with hardy trailing plants—stonecrop, periwinkle both major and minor, white and blue, with variegated foliage; sweet woodruff, violets, and a mass of ferns, whose delicate light silver green fronds are daily uncurling into beauty. The wallflowers are in full bloom. Later on, the germander speedwell will open its bright evanescent flowers, that, though only a wild plant, makes such splendid masses of colour when cultivated, with the silver-foil in bunches near it.

Up a short flight of stone steps, with ferns on each side, under an ivy-covered archway, and on another plat of grass, with a long flower-bed, with trellis-work at the back, covered with the red and yellow honeysuckle, and a huge mass of climbing roses, the rare delicate ‘maiden blush,’ which in a fortnight will be heavy with bloom. More rockeries and ferns, lilies of the valley and forget-me-nots under the syringa bushes, and sweet-brier. In another corner are tall irises and great white lilies, with here and there a bunch of orange tiger lily. Southernwood, lavender, and rosemary, variegated balm in profusion. Soon the fragrant pinks, and their aristocratic relations the carnations, will be in bloom; and the rich velvety pansies, that are now so large and perfect, will dwindle as the sun gains more power, and the strawberries begin to crimson on the sunny south beds; and the geraniums and verbenas and purple heliotropes take the place of auriculas and the narcissus.

Round the square of vegetable garden is a wide path, with beds sloping to the walls, one of which is of good brick, with plum, cherry, and other fruit-trees trained along it. The other is the real old stone wall belonging to the ‘antient’ priory, that formerly stood close by. At one time, this wall was covered with a dense mass of ivy, in which colonies of sparrows built their nests, reared their young, and flourished mightily. Snails, slugs, and wood-lice swarmed, and beetles in endless variety. One wild day in a wet February, part of the old wall came down, breaking up the trees, and cutting up the borders and turf. It was patched up again; and just as the spinach was fit to cut and lettuce planted out, there was a soaking rain one night, and in the morning the old wall was again prostrate over all our spring plantings. Such a wreck it was, and disturbed our equilibrium for days. It was soon set straight as regards the stonework; but it was weeks before the place looked itself again; and that crumbling old wall was watched with suspicion all summer. Then outdoor life coming to an end, we ceased to think on the subject.

October following was mild and balmy for the first few days; then the wind shifted suddenly to the east, and four or five nights of sharp frost came, that turned all the foliage into a golden glory, a steady downpour of a week culminating with a tremendous wind-storm. It blew and whistled and stormed till every leaf was swept away into space, going no one knew whither, howling and whistling round the chimney-stacks till night was made terrible. During the worst of the storm, in the early morning, down came the old wall again from end to end, cutting up turf, breaking down the fruit-trees, and overwhelming the shrubs and rockeries in a general wreck. For many weeks did the state of chaos continue; wretched drenched fowl made themselves at home in the flower-beds, and forlorn-looking ducks wandered across, and feasted on the host of slugs and fat snails and beetles that the pouring rain had tempted out of the nooks and crevices of the stones and mass of ivy. It was built up at last; but little or nothing could be done to repair the ravages done to the garden till the end of March, except making a general clearance of the rubbish, and one of the quaintest of shady corners seemed lost for ever.

But after a few fine balmy days and a spell of sunshine, curious things happened under the{255} rebuilt wall: stray snowdrops appeared in places where none had been heretofore; a bunch of pure white crocuses unfolded their blossoms to the sun in one place; two or three stray ‘stars of Bethlehem’ in another. Later on, a single stem shot up of yellow Lent lilies; bunches of tormentilla with double yellow blooms, and clover with deep red-brown leaves and big snowy balls of flowers; the mouse-ear, hawkweed, and trailing moneywort. Down amongst the remains of the common turf came a thick growth of parsley-piert with its close fine-edged leaves, and cuckoo-pint with delicate pinky-white flowers. On the wall between the new mortar and old stones came little fibres of crimson-tipped moss, stonecrop (Sedum), sandwort, pellitory of the wall, and in one place a single plant of flax, with its pale-blue flowers and long spear-like leaves; without mentioning the more common chickweed, groundsel, wild feverfew and plantain, yellow wallflowers, and many different sorts of grass and mosses. There is no doubt most of these plants had come from seeds brought to the nests in the ivy by the birds, and had lain there in the dry rubble for years, some, perhaps, for generations, simply because there was not moisture enough to cause the seeds to sprout and germinate. ‘If a grain of wheat fall to the ground and live, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit,’ which seems enigmatical till pondered over and thought out. How often have the gray-cowled monks strolled round this old garden, marking how this tree promised a bounteous crop of cherries, luscious morrellas, that, when ‘cunninglie steeped in spirits with due proportion of mace, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar,’ makes a liqueur fit for the drink of princes; or noting how the gnarled old apple-trees—then young and in full bearing—were covered with garlands of pink-and-white blossoms, that promised later in the autumn a rich harvest of golden fruit: ladies’-fingers, Ribstone pippins, codlings, golden russets, Blenham orange, with sourings for winter keeping; also the frail blooms of the pear-trees, jargonelle, Marie Louise, baking pears of enormous size, with the rich, juicy ‘bishop’s thumbs’ and brown burées.

Now, a young lay-brother will come to pick dainty bits of herbs for flavouring the soups and stews, with their accompaniment of esculent vegetables, for, in those old palmy days, seldom did their genial faces have ‘anchorite’ written on them. Go to the extreme end of the garden, and turn round; what a delightful view meets the gaze! Down in the hollow lies the sleepy little town, with its quaint gabled houses, and nearly imbedded in a wealth of lime-trees. Far away, when the wind is high and the atmosphere clear, are seen ranges of fertile hills for miles, or the distance is wrapped in a soft purple haze that is still more lovely; and over all this, the deep blue sky with fleecy white clouds, and the blessed sunshine pouring down over all the wealth of buds and blossoms, singing birds, and busy humming bees.

I came across, the other day, an account of what a naturalist found in a square of backyard nearly uncultivated. Why, such a place as this old priory garden would give him pleasure and profit for months, nay, years, for not a tenth part of all the natural lovelinesses has been exhausted yet. Some other time, perhaps, I shall tell something more of what I find here as the years glide onward.

Counsel and solicitors have never been so friendly as brother professionals should be, and never will be until ‘amalgamation’ is an accomplished fact. They have many causes of difference—some real, many fancied. In all of them, jealousy is a great factor; for, whatever may be thought to the contrary, each branch of the legal profession is jealous of the privileges of the other. The barrister wants personal relations with his client, which would mean very great loss to the solicitor; and the solicitor wants to be allowed a right of audience before the Supreme Court, which would certainly rob the barrister of half his fees. Hence, there is a straining between the two limbs of the law, which causes many hard things to be said of both.

One of the most real grievances of solicitors is in the matter of fees. Two solicitors brief counsel to appear in two cases. Both cases come on for hearing at the same time in different courts. Obviously, the chosen advocate cannot attend to both, and so one is left to the tender mercies of a half-fledged junior, whose well-meant efforts often result in the loss of his client’s case. That such should be the fact is inevitable, so long as the public will persist in preferring the possible services and slight attention of an ‘eminent’ counsel, obtained at a fancy price, to the certain attention and careful study bestowed upon his case by a less eminent, but often equally able, counsel at a fair price. But the real ground of complaint is that when a case is thus murdered through its conductor’s inability to attend to it, that conductor still retains his fee. He has never, in fact, the smallest idea of disgorging a fee, even when paid on a brief upon which he has never appeared. Why should he? It was not his fault that he could not do the work he was retained for; he has given valuable time to getting up the case (though he certainly need not have done so, as it turned out); and—strongest argument of all—he does not lose custom by thus publicly fattening on the unearned increment. So he has continued to ‘unearn’ it; and the solicitor—whose interests are of course his client’s—has continued to writhe under the open injustice thus sanctioned by the etiquette of that most honourable of professions, the Bar of England.

But at last a ray of hope has found its way into the long-suffering solicitor’s breast. The chink through which the welcome ray has come has been pierced by a certain Mr Norton, a solicitor. It happened in this wise: Mr Norton briefed and feed ‘an eminent leading counsel’ in a certain case; but the retained one failed to appear upon the trial. Mr Norton felt hurt; but, being a practical man, an idea struck him. He wrote to the eminent one, pointing out that it would not be altogether an iniquitous proceeding if his fees were returned. The eminent one made courteous reply that ‘he would be happy to return the fees if he could find any{256} precedent for doing so.’ This would have ‘stumped’ most solicitors; but Mr Norton rose to the occasion. He at once laid the whole matter before the Attorney-general; and that luminary expressed his ‘views and usage’ to be ‘to return so much of the brief fee as exceeds the amount which would have been proper if the brief had been simply a case for opinion.’ This means the return in such cases of by far the greater portion of the fees; and such return will, if it become a ‘precedent,’ be most acceptable not only to solicitors, but to the public at large. In this particular case, the counsel referred to, having found a precedent, and being unable to eat his own words, at once sent Mr Norton a ‘cheque for the difference;’ and Mr Norton has certainly done well to make the matter public. All barristers now have a sound precedent for doing an act of justice; and it is to be hoped that they, as a body, will not neglect to follow it. So the profession will escape a certain amount of ill repute which has long tarnished, in the eyes at least of envious persons, its very honourable ’scutcheon.


By Alexander Anderson.

Those simple daisies which you view,
Last year, when summer winds did wave,
And clouds were white with sunshine, grew
Upon the Ettrick Shepherd’s grave.
But not of him they speak, nor draw
My thoughts back to that early time
When, rapt in that one dream, he saw
The shadows lift from fairy clime.
Nor yet of Ettrick, as it goes
To join the Yarrow’s haunting tone,
That each may murmur as it flows
A music something like his own.
Nor even of Saint Mary’s Lake,
Amid those hills from which he drew
The legendary Past, to wake
Its far-off melodies anew.
No; not of these I think, though each
Is rich in spells of magic song;
These daisies touch a chord to which
All sadder thoughts of death belong.
And so I turn, and for a space
Within the sacred Past I stand,
To feel the sunshine of a face,
The kindly pressure of a hand.
All just the same as when she[2] gave
These dead flowers as a welcome thing.
Alas! and now upon her grave
The grass is thinking of the spring.
It seems but yesterday since then—
How slow, yet swift, the days have sped—
And here, beside the streets of men,
She slumbers with the holy dead.
She should have lain among the hills,
In some old churchyard, where each sound
Is of the wind, the tinkling rills,
And cry of lonely things around;
Or where old ballads grew to life,
Far back within the shadowy years,
That sang of rugged Border strife,
Or passions born of love and tears.
For loyal to their old-world chords,
She felt her heart in unison
With all their rich but simple words,
That took new music from her own.
True woman of the faithful heart,
And kindly as the summer air;
A nature such as could impart
Its genial presence everywhere.
In her the friend was friend indeed;
A larger sense of sympathy,
That overstepped the pales of creed,
Drew her to all in charity.
And now this death that waits for each,
An unseen shade by all, has come;
The Scottish music of her speech
So sweet, is now for ever dumb.
So pass the leal ones of this earth,
To leave with us a holier claim;
To touch us with their spirit-birth,
And whisper they are still the same.
These simple flowers of withered hue,
Last year, when summer winds did wave,
Were plucked by her because they grew
Upon the Ettrick Shepherd’s grave.
This year, when summer pours her light,
And daisies are to beauty blown,
Some hands will pluck their blossoms white,
Because they grow upon her own.


It is not perhaps generally known that Easter Sunday falls this year on the latest possible date on which it can fall—April 25. It is only once in every century that Easter falls on so late a date as this; the last year on which it did so was in 1734, and the next occasion will be in 1943. The earliest date for Easter is March 22, and this has occurred once only in this century—in 1818; and it may safely be said that none now living will see the next similar occurrence, for it will not take place until the year 2000. In fixing Easter, the general rule is, that Easter Sunday is always the first Sunday after the full moon on or next after 21st March.

Printed and Published by W. & R. Chambers, 47 Paternoster Row, London, and 339 High Street, Edinburgh.

All rights reserved.


[1] The only other legal tender are Bank of England notes. They are a legal tender for sums above five pounds. The Bank of England itself must, however, if desired, pay gold.

[2] Jean Logan Watson, author of Bygone Days in our Village, Round the Grange Farm, and other books full of quaint simplicity and freshness, and breathing on every page the delightful personality of the writer. Her sudden death was deeply felt by a large circle of friends, and has left a blank that can never be filled up. She died 7th October 1885, and sleeps in the Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh.—A. A.